Sen. Ted Lieu calls for urgent investigation into safety procedures at LAX

March 14, 2014

Concerns follow death of baggage worker employed by Menzies Aviation 

LOS ANGELES – In the wake of the recent death of a 51-year-old baggage employee of contractor Menzies Aviation, Sen. Ted Lieu today called for a state investigation into possibly unsafe working conditions at Los Angeles International Airport.

“This is a horrible tragedy and we must find out if this could have been prevented,” Lieu said after a press conference to shed light on the death of Cesar Augusto Valenzuela, who died three weeks ago in a single-vehicle accident at the busy airport, which is part of Lieu’s senate district. “Safety for millions of travelers through LAX starts with a safe workplace.”

According to reports, workers for Menzies Aviation have been injured in several incidents in recent years, and Lieu and other officials said they are concerned about possible shortcuts and cost-cutting steps that may have contributed toward airport work becoming unnecessarily dangerous. A Feb. 25, 2014 story by the Los Angeles Times cited Cal-OSHA saying Menzies had been issued multiple citations last June totaling nearly $95,000 in proposed penalties for safety violations.

“The fact that this isn’t the first safety incident involving Menzies Aviation shows that there may be a dangerous pattern developing,” Lieu said. “No one should have to worry that their spouse won't come home from work because they were hurt or killed on the job.” 

“Cesar (Valenzuela) and his family are counting on us to find the answers,” Lieu said.

For more, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and represents the more than 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glen, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map at: http://sd28.senate.ca.gov/district-28-map. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ray Sotero

Communications Director

Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28

Capitol Building, Room 4061

Sacramento, Calif. 95814

(916) 651-4028 office; (916) 834-1128 cell or ray.sotero@sen.ca.gov

www.sen.ca.gov/Lieu